The Wonderful Benefits of Being Miserable

MiserableBeing miserable is just great, don’t you find?

It’s an art form that’s well worth cultivating. It brings so many benefits to our lives, which is of course why so many people do their very best to excel at it.

Misery doesn’t bring you a better life in any of the shallow, flighty, surface ways people talk about like more friendship, love and lovers. Better relationships with your family, spouse or children. It doesn’t improve your career, financial situation, health, stability, fulfillment or joy of life.

It doesn’t make you happier – well of course it doesn’t; that would be defeating the point!

 

The many benefits of being miserable

 

But this fine craft does allow you to feel superior and special in a way other people just don’t understand, which is fantastic. You can become a martyr overnight with a bit of misery – the innocent victim who tries so, so hard to be happy (not too hard though, be careful) and then the world just seems to conspire against you. You poor thing.

In an age where we have relative peace and prosperity, and more opportunities than ever before, it can be quite hard to find ways to feel like the beaten-down underdog. Misery solves that problem in a jiffy!

 

You get sooo much attention

 

And this is the greatest benefit of all: being miserable gets you so much attention and compassion. Big-hearted and guilt-prone people especially will feel compelled to help you, to listen to you, to feel sorry for you. Here’s the best part: people feel vaguely guilty around you too.

You’re sure to always have company. Misery loves company, and you make people more and more miserable around you. Some will leave you, but never mind about them. They just don’t get it.

 

And there’s more! You come across as so wise and worldly, because you notice all the crap in the world. You are the first to see what’s wrong with everything and every idea. And you stop people just when they were about to blindly run forwards happily into something fun, without paying due attention to what could go wrong.

You’re like a profound, tragic guru of worldly wisdom. How awesome is that!

And you never experience disappointment or disillusion, because you never expect or hope for anything in the first place. You never experience loss or deep pain because you get rid of meaningful love from your life in the first place.

“I get it! I’m sold! So how do I get good at being miserable!?” I hear you cry. Here are a few tips to set you on your way.

 

How to be miserable – your quick 10-step guide

 

  1. Make good things small and temporary

If anything good happens and you accidentally notice it, make sure you see it as being temporary and as small as possible. Like a glitch in the system.

  1. Make bad things huge and everlasting

When something bad happens, make sure you notice and express how terrible it was, and how it happened because it always happens, and the effects will last forever. Here’s a tip: the more you talk about it, the more a problem lasts and spreads.

  1. See bad intentions behind everything

Turn innocent remarks into calculated insults from horrible people who intended to cause pain. See attempted attacks and offence behind everything.

  1. Do everything for personal gain

Never just do something for someone else unless you can get something out of it. Make sure you point out how everyone else giving to others is doing it for themselves too.

  1. Be terrified of economic loss

Talk about how close you are to being broke all the time. Worry consistently about losing your job. Watch the news and find all the evidence you can that you are on the brink of bankruptcy and destruction.

  1. Cultivate a negative identity

If you have any personal problems, make them the only things that matter about you. Become a Depressed Person, an Anxious Person, etc. Oh, and of course make sure those problems last longer and get bigger.

  1. Don’t feel or express gratitude

Gratitude has no place in the life of a true misery master. There’s nothing in this world to be grateful for – make that your mantra.

  1. Blame your parents and background

Always remember, your life was set out before you even had a chance. Your parents messed you up, so that’s that. They are the cause of all your shortcomings and failures.

  1. Don’t be shallow and enjoy the little things

Take no pleasure in the beautiful, lovely things in life. Good conversation, art, wine, music, beauty. Leave that to shallow, pathetic happy people who just don’t understand.

  1. Focus on yourself and on the past

Ruminate and regret. Think and talk incessantly about every little problem you might have in your character, or something that happened to you. Don’t let anything go! All that mostly-imagined baggage is precious – and the key to a glorious life of absolute misery.

 

Here’s one extra bonus tip – always pretend you want to be happy. Pretend to yourself too. If you start admitting that deep down you’re trying to be miserable – well, you might just start thinking how absurd it all is and become happy instead.

And that would ruin everything!

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Go on, give yourself permission to climb into a Porg-hole!

Porgie-300x275When I was little, I had a bull terrier named Porgie. I loved her so much so, that I would greet her on all fours, hide her in my bed so she wouldn’t be cold and even come home and climb into her dog basket with her. She was an absolutely mental dog and I loved her craziness and zaniness. Porgie however, was no ordinary dog. She harbored a secret.

Not only did she chase her tail with joy, sit in the pantry and slip in her own drool waiting for a dog biscuit and eat noisily like each meal was her last, she had an inner wisdom which far exceeded her dog years.

I truly believe that Porgie was a guru in a previous lifetime.

Every few months, Porgie would be in a bad mood. Who knows what caused it – perhaps hormones, a phantom pregnancy, or Pluto aligning incorrectly with Venus. When this happened, she would go to the bottom of the garden and go dig a hole. She would then crawl into this ‘Porg-hole’ and growl if anyone came near her. I would attempt to coax her out with food but she didn’t come out and she let me know that I was not welcome. 3-4 days later, she would come out of the hole, cover it up and come bounding back as if nothing had happened.

porghole-300x200I used to think this was more evidence that my dog was weird and unwell but actually thinking back on it today – it was sheer genius.

In today’s society, we don’t ever allow ourselves to dwell in a bad mood. We are told to ‘snap out of it’, ‘cheer up’ and be happy. The dawn of Emotional Intelligence has created an international outbreak of suppressed human beings who don’t allow themselves to just be grumpy and to just be with their grumpiness, unhappiness or depression until is passes. Instead we must apply an emotional avoidance trigger or tranquilize ourselves with alcohol, drugs or antidepressants until ‘rational intelligence returns’.

GROWL. What Daniel Goleman didn’t realize when he wrote his NY Times bestseller ‘Emotional Intelligence’, was that he helped contribute to the mass suppression of emotions which is commonplace in today’s society. Instead of expressing raw emotions, feeling them authentically, crying, screaming and just being grumpy when we feel grumpy, we are expected to be cool, calm, collected robots who smile politely, play political ping pong with the sales guy we hate and certainly don’t flinch in the boardroom when someone missed a deadline and messed up our project.

Your EQ is now more important than your IQ as this man managed to convince and advise nations that suppression is healthy, balanced and somehow good for us.

In describing the importance of acknowledging our emotional states, American psychologist Dr Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings, i.e. warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the mental/intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, and memory.”

In her article titled ‘How to Understand, Express and Release your Emotions’, author Mary Kurus, a renowned psychologist based in New York, writes that emotions control our thinking, behavior and actions. If you ignore, dismiss or repress your feelings, you’re setting yourself up for physical illness.

The understanding is that emotions that are not felt and released can spawn a host of ailments: cancers, arthritis, and many types of chronic illnesses. The explanation is that negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, negativity, frustration and depression cause chemical reactions in our bodies that are very different from the chemicals released when we feel positive emotions such as happiness and contentment and also when we’re feeling loved and accepted.

Signs that you are repressing your emotions

When we have an experience that is painful or difficult we often dismiss the emotions or bury them under busyness, exercise, comfort eating or drinking. The problem is that our suppressed emotions don’t like being hidden. Our negative feelings stay with us; in the muscles, ligaments, stomach and midriff. These emotions remain buried within us until we allow ourselves to feel them and deal with them, thereby releasing them.

Short Term Emotion Avoidance Triggers (STEATs) and other ‘methods’ we use to suppress or avoid our emotions:

  • Ignoring feelings.
  • Pretending something hasn’t happened.
  • Overeating.
  • Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’).
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol.
  • Excessive use of recreational drugs.
  • Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.
  • Exercising compulsively.
  • Behaving compulsively.
  • Excessive sex with or without a partner.
  • Excessive busyness.
  • Constantly intellectualizing and analyzing situations.
  • Excessive reading or TV viewing.
  • Spending hours watching romantic movies or fantasizing about ‘the one’.
  • Working excessively.
  • Keeping conversations superficial.
  • Burying angry emotions under the mask of peace and love.

You cannot control your emotions BUT truly acknowledging them and feeling them, allows them to move on

You cannot change or control your emotions. Think of the people who trundle along day after day, seeming to function normally. And then one day they’ll suddenly explode over something seemingly trivial or harmless. This behavior is a result of a pressure-cooker syndrome; apply a little heat in the form of a tense situation and repressed emotions boil over. The more you try to control your emotions the more your emotions resist. Eventually you lose emotional control. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s not popular in today’s society to express negative emotions in public. Seeming out of control is interpreted as a sign of weakness. We’re often uncomfortable around people who express strong emotions. As a society we’re taught to hide our emotions, to be ashamed of them and to be afraid of them.

We spend a great deal of time talking ‘about’ our feelings and emotions and very little time actually processing and feeling them. We attend workshops, visit therapists, and they describe how we feel.

We talk and talk about our emotions, intellectualizing and analyzing them, but how much time do we actually spend feeling them?

We are emotional creations and we must learn how to know our emotions, be with them, and release them in healthy ways.

Although I disagree with Daniel Goleman and his thoughts on intellectualizing our emotions before we give ourself permission to feel them – taking out our frustrations on others is also not particularly evolved. I know he wrote his book to prevent irrational rants in the workplace but the problem is we have become deader and more resigned than ever. Depression rates have never been so high as they are today and some psychologists believe that depression is simply long term suppression of emotion.

So Porgie had it right after all.

pawFeeling crabby? Go dig a hole away from others and go BE crabby and do not stop being crabby until you feel pruney with your crabbiness. Growl. Its really fun actually. Surrender to the emotions, feel them and be them until they naturally pass and peel away like layers of an onion. The crabiness is concealing a deep sadness, fear or anger so get to the root cause of your emotion so you can release the tension in your body and prevent long term illness from happening.

So, to hell with your EQ, smiling when you don’t mean it and fake bubbliness- its plastic and weird. Let people know how you feel in life. Give yourself permission to be a glorious crabby depressed mess until you are sick to death of it. Give yourself permission to climb into a Porg hole today – you will feel a hellava lots happier tomorrow and guarantee longer healthier life too.

Thanks be to Guru Porgie…

Till next time

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Don’t Eat That Cookie! Are You Healing or Avoiding?

foodWhen you were young did your mother use to say, ‘Don’t cry. Here have a cookie and you’ll feel better.’

And you ate the cookie, got distracted and yes you did actually feel a bit better. For ten minutes. Then the pain came back, and it was time for another cookie.

Does this sound at all familiar? If that child was you, perhaps you grew up to associate fixing your emotions with food, or other short term distractions. Instead of facing the pain and actually healing properly. The fact is:

If you don’t confront your emotions, you’ll never heal!

The example of the daughter and her cookie comes from John James and Russell Friedman’s great book ‘The Grief Recovery Handbook’, where they talk about confronting your emotions rather than filling your life with things that fill your time, but only provide a short-term relief.

When you eat that cookie the fact is there’s no emotional completion of the pain caused by the event. The event and all the feelings associated with it are simply buried. Ready to keep coming up throughout your life no matter how many cookies you eat.

What are Your Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics?

Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics (STEATs) are things you do to avoid feeling the pain, numb the pain, or to take the pain away in the short term. They are often escapism-type activities where you keep SO focused and busy that there is no time to think.

They help you feel better in each moment BUT you’re not feeling better for real – it’s a false sense of security – a false feeling of recovery. And if you fill your life up with lots of STEATs your healing will not progress.

STEATs are so common after divorce

The sad thing is that for most people struggling to get over their divorce they’re engaging in a cycle of feeling the pain, applying a STEAT, feeling the pain, applying another STEAT, until over time they feel numb and they think this numbness is them healed from their divorce.

STEATs prolong the emotional roller-coaster of your divorce. So you never fully grieve for long enough or experience the loss critical to healing for real. Your emotional roller coaster will go up and down, up and down. Until you stop. And start to heal for real.

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Your recovery exercise – which of these common STEATs do you use?

It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.

Try to identify two short-term relief activities you’ve been doing to distract yourself and displace your feelings since your divorce or break up. This can be a lot harder than it seems, but it’s going to take your absolute commitment to honesty to truly heal.

Here are some common examples: Excessive socializing. Over-exercising. Fantasy or escapism activities (books, TV, movies). Shopping/retail therapy. Work and becoming a workaholic. Pretending something hasn’t happened. Overeating. Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’). Excessive drinking of alcohol. Excessive use of recreational drugs. Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.

The list is endless, and it could be something totally unique for you.

So, what STEATs do You use?

Can you share a few with the world?

I’d love to hear them!

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Signs your partner might be cheating on you…

blogWe all like to think it could never happen to us, but sadly, straying partners are becoming ever more common. So what are some of the tell-tale signs that your partner is cheating on you? Here are some common points I have drawn up after evaluating 78 divorces (which ended due to cheating) in the past year. NOW, this list is not intended to make you Mr or Ms Private Detective/ paranoid stalker. These pointers below should only alarm you if you notice a combination of at least 5 in your partner within the last 6 months…

Glued to the mobile phone

Often the mobile phone can give you the first clue there may be a problem. Has your partner started sleeping with it under their pillow? Keeping it close so you can’t answer it if it rings could be a sign your partner is anxious about who might call. Are they often disappearing to the other end of the garden to talk privately? Are texts suddenly arriving late at night?

Hiding the emails

Suddenly he or she is spending a lot of time on the computer and unless there is some new project or business venture happening, this may be a bad sign. A new email account could imply that your partner is intentionally hiding things from you.

Interest in their appearance

If his idea of exercise used to be moving from the fridge to the couch, and weight training involved carrying a bowl of potato chips, you are probably right to worry if he’s suddenly lost 47 pounds and is developing a six-pack by visiting the gym regularly. And catching a waft of an expensive new cologne could alert you that something is a bit fishy…

Changes in routine

Be alert to unusual changes in routine. Perhaps she’s leaving earlier in the morning, or he always seems to be late home on a Wednesday? A sudden need to be away on business trips a lot could also signal that some extra-curricular business could be going on…

Following the paper trail

If your partner is rivalling Usain Bolt in their effort to get to the mail before you, it could be because they want to hide things such as credit card statement. Unexplained purchases, or a new credit card in their name only, could signal a cheating partner. Withdrawals of cash that can’t be accounted for is also of concern – particularly if this is not in their nature to do so, and a receipt for that gold necklace you have never seen might also set alarm bells ringing.

Bedroom problems

This is a really tricky one. If he isn’t showing any interest at all, that’s not a good sign. Alternatively, if she suddenly appears in the doorway with a new pair of pink fluffy handcuffs, she may have got that idea from someone else.

A guilty conscience?

Sometimes the first thing that alerts you is when your partner is suddenly buying you flowers or expensive gifts. Over-compensating because of guilt is not uncommon, so wild declarations of undying love, that seem out-of-the-ordinary, may have a deeper significance.

Changes in attitude

Or sometimes she may start to nag or become easily irritated. Perhaps he seems resentful, or accuses you of being a control freak? This is not that unusual, as it paves the way for shifting the blame if they get found out.

Things don’t add up

Keeping up a web of deceit is actually quite hard, and in the end the truth will out. If you catch your partner lying when this is out of character for them, increase your suspicions.

Ultimately, the acid test is probably your own gut instinct. All these things could have a perfectly innocent explanation. But if you have that feeling in your bones, and can spot some of the tell-tale signs, maybe it’s time to be brave and start facing the truth. If you have a concern, speak to one of our trained Angels who can help you assess your situation and map out a plan for what to do about it…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

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How does divorce impact your brain’s function?

 

Trauma in the BrainWe all know what’s meant by trauma, don’t we? A divorce, miscarriage, a bereavement, serious road accident or being caught up in a natural disaster can destroy a person’s sense of who they are and what it means to be in the world. Any physical damage may or may not heal over time, but psychologically, they’re never quite the same.

Well, that’s a limited view of trauma and its effects.

First of all, not everyone who has an extreme experience suffers severely and develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many are able to heal, and some go on to become fantastic healers or inspirational figures themselves, while others struggle for a while and then get on with the lives they’d always intended to lead.

Secondly, for many of us it’s a way of distancing ourselves from the idea that we might ourselves be traumatised. Nothing life-threatening has ever happened to us, so we don’t even consider PTSD as an issue in our lives. Wouldn’t it be melodramatic to suggest our reaction to marital betrayal and the ensuing divorce in any way resembles the experiences of a hurricane survivor?

Well, the events themselves may not be comparable, but whether a shocking or stressful life experience has a lasting, damaging psychological impact seems to depend more on how it’s processed.

A betrayal of our assumption that the room will never turn upside down can shake all our other assumptions, challenging our grasp of who we are and what life is about AND so can discovering a trusted partner is no longer invested in the marriage. The imminent threat of psychic annihilation is real enough to trigger the same processes in the brain that kick in when our life is in danger. The ‘fight-or-flight’ instinct takes over our brain as our Amygdala generates massive amounts of Cortisol and Adrenalin to prepare for this action it needs to take. The increase in Cortisol in the body causes neurons in the Hippocampus to shrivel up. As the Hippocampus is responsible for turning emotional sensory cues into visual retrievable memories that we can talk about – it’s ability to perform this function under stress is massively reduced. SO we get stuck in the emotional memories as we fail to contextualise what happened and the ability to think rationally is put on hold while we escape and become a slave to our Amygdala.

The block to the conscious memory can stay in place for some time to protect us from continued danger – for example in a combat situation. When we find a more secure space, either literally or in terms emotional and psychological support, we can adjust our world view, with the co-operation of the associated conscious memories, heal and move on. In other words, when the Cortisol decreases, our Hippocampus can come back online and help us to contextualise what happened. Until then, emotional memories will resurface unconsciously through dreams and flashbacks, until the conscious mind with the help of the Hippocampus is ready come to terms with what happened, and help make the adjustment to a new reality.

But our ability to process a shock like a divorce can be affected by behaviour patterns set by earlier traumas, or our life experience so far may have left us ill-equipped to deal with unexpected loss. PTSD is what happens when the conscious memory of the event is, or seems, too frightening to contemplate – our Amygdala (or brain’s alarm system) is so hyperactive that it doesn’t allow the Hippocampus to come back online. We can get caught in this fight-or-flight state, constantly re-experiencing out-of-context debilitating emotions disconnected from any conscious memories.

This is why we get stuck in divorce trauma. Reassessing your life in the light of an eye-opening event is no bad thing, but it sometimes feels too painful to take on board and understand what’s happened. On some level you probably desperately want to put the experience behind you and get on with your life, but you don’t seem to be able to think straight. This is why so many people avoid the processing of divorce trauma memories by engaging in Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics like shopping, working too much, hiding behind children or going out every night.

The Naked Divorce can help you get unstuck. The three-stage 21-day divorce support programme works by first stabilising you in an emotional ‘cocoon’, creating the safety you need to release those ‘feeling’ memories and begin to allow the conscious recollections in. Only then can you can work to contextualise your feelings, so that they’re associated in your memory with events you can consider and interpret, and you’re not constantly at their mercy. After pupating for 21 days, you’ll emerge, stronger, wiser and ready to move forward into your new life.

Call us, we are here to help and we know a hellava lot about what happens to the brain during trauma so we really know how to help you move on.

Till next time

Lots of hugs

NO FAULT DIVORCE – what does this mean to us?

 

The UK laws of divorce have not been reformed since their introduction in 1969. However there was a move and introduction to No – Fault Divorce shortly after 1970.

No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrong-doing by either party. Laws providing for no-fault divorce allow a family court or other court to grant a divorce in response to a petition by either party to the marriage, without requiring the petitioner to provide evidence that the respondent has committed a breach of the marital contract. Laws providing for no-fault divorce also often limit the potential legal defenses of a respondent who would prefer to remain married.

At present, couples can be legally parted within six months if one party is shown to be at fault.  The most common grounds are unreasonable behavior, which can include committing adultery or devoting too much time to one’s career.  However, more and more valid reasons are now beginning to diminish through No-fault divorces. One case consists of a Judge ruling against a woman who argued at the Court of Appeal that her husband shouldn’t have been allowed to divorce her over ‘trivial’ matters. She did not want the divorce and wanted to fight for her marriage but it was ruled against her. She is one of many.

No-fault laws take away the need to find fault. No-fault divorce law gives either party the freedom to file for divorce with only the claim of “irreconcilable differences.”

Jill Kirby, who writes about family life, said: ‘The less the courts consider fault in divorce, the greater the sense of injustice felt by the spouse who thinks he or she was not to blame. ‘If one partner abandons the other, that should be taken into account .When it comes to dividing possessions, it is extraordinary that no account is taken of adultery or other fault.’

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent guardian.com, tends to take a different view. Owen states, In the 19th century and for much of the 20th, divorce was a matter of social status – it mattered whether you were divorced or not, and if you were, it was important to demonstrate that you were the ‘innocent’ party.  But Society has moved away from viewing divorce as shameful, removing the need for one partner to be deemed “innocent” to keep their social status, he said. “I am a strong believer in marriage. But I see no good arguments against no-fault divorce.”

There are certain examples with positive and negatives to a no-fault divorce. Positives such as

(According to Cathy Meyer, About.com Guide)

–       States in America that have adopted the no- divorce law have seen a decline in the rates of domestic violence. These laws have been said to empower a man or woman in an abusive marriage and make it easier to leave.

–      And it Shortens the length of time it takes to obtain a divorce, which, in turn, shortens the amount of time in a stressful situation. etc

However in a negative example,

–      Taking away control from a spouse that is objective towards the Divorce

–      No – fault divorce has given more power to Family Court Judges in deciding issues such as custody, splitting marital assets and spousal support. When there is no one at fault, A judge’s decisions are based on his feelings and feelings are not always objective.

–      Where once the Family Court Systems allegiance was with the institution of marriage, it is now with the institution of divorce. Family Courts used to put effort into protecting the sanctity of marriage. Now the main concern is to make divorce quick and easy and get it off the docket.

It is disturbing to see how The Family Court system has now completely flipped its allegiance simply because they were tired of dealing with feuding couples. Highlighting the word ‘FAMILY’ in their name shows strong contradiction in that now what they are supporting is the exact opposite of the word.

When Divorce laws originated grounds for the divorce had to be established.  But now if one party of the marriage wants out despite the feeling of the other party it is permitted.

(According to Cathy Meyer, About.com Guide)

A few states In America such as Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona have now passed laws that give couples the option to choose, before they marry, which laws they would want to apply to their divorceshould the marriage end. They can choose between “covenant marriage” or the no-fault option. In covenant marriage, couples agree to pre-marital counseling and to limit the grounds and options should they decide to divorce.

Reading this, in my opinion, describes to me a loss of value in the vows and promises that are made to each other on the day of marriage, therefore a loss of value in marriage itself.

Family Court Judge Randall Hekman said, “It is easier to divorce my wife of 26 years than to fire someone I hired one week ago. The person I hire has more legal clout than my wife of 26 years. That’s wrong.”

If the value of marriage has lessened then more and more spouses are not bothered by the difficulty in divorce, therefore unfortunately no longer willing to invest as much time and energy into saving their marriage.

NO FAULT DIVORCE, so what does this mean to us? There are many angles in which the opinions of no fault divorce can be looked.  Depending on which side of the divorce a person is standing will determine the opinion. Another important question we should perhaps be asking is what does MARRIAGE mean to us?

So; Is No Fault divorce allowing relief in the stressful situation of divorce? Or is it encouraging a lack of need to fight for marriages? Either way Marriage is not something that should be entered into without the utmost care and intention to abide by the promises that are made on the day one says ‘I do.’

Till next time!

Lots of hugs

Your divorce: Are you an Eeyore or a Tigger?

I remember my first Pooh bear book when I was a kid. I loved it to death and pawed at the pages on a daily basis. I was so in love with the characters that when it came time to find ways to earn money for my school as a debutante, I even wrote and directed a play which starred almost my whole school when I was 16. Those were the days…

If you have never read A.A. Milne’s classic tales of a bear and friends – allow me to enlighten you.

Tigger

Tigger is the overly excitable, wildly bouncy tiger who is always bouncing around the enchanted forest. His attempts at spreading sheer joy to all those around him is infectious – even if he bowls everyone over like a bull in a china shop. He spread joy and gave energy to everyone. His most endearing quality (other than his cute listhp) was his knack of referring to himself in the 3rd person. Classic lines from tales of Pooh included:

  • …because “bouncin’ that’s what Tiggers do!”)
  • Woohoo hooo hooo hooo hooo!?
  • TTFF – Ta ta For Now
  • And then there was his little song:
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one

Eeyore

Eeyore on the other hand is a somber donkey.  Oh everything bad happens to this donkey as even his tail is held on by a button. Gloom and doom, and he is known for saying in the saddest tone “Thanks for noticin’ me”.  His energy is vibrating pretty low and the outlook is bleak to status quo at best.  He is the antithesis of personal empowerment. Eeyore has very little expectations from his friends and therefore wherever there is an occasion where his friends gather around his to help him, his thoughts of receiving the worst are dismissed and he has a feeling of being grateful to them. Eeyore’s biggest problem is when his tail falls off and that happens frequently (he has lost it many times).

Although always sad, he has very cute endearing qualities. So there is alot of compassion inside him. This is shown when Eeyore is able to grow a plant which Rabbit, a much respected gardener is unable to grow. Eeyore achieves this by giving the plant some of his love. His most famous quotes included:-

  • Thanks for noticing me
  • If it is a good morning
  • It’s not much of a tail
  • Most likely lose it again
  • Days, weeks, months, who knows
  • It works. Didn’t expect it to

The choice…

We all go through times in our lives when we become Eeyore. With anxiety we spend our time and energy fruitlessly by worrying about things we have no control over, things that are not real, etc… The thing to notice is that it’s kind of self-perpetuating. The more you believe nothing good will ever happen and it’s all gloom and doom – the more you will attract those things into your life. You need to switch your focus and be grateful. Grateful that there is nothing really wrong with you. Grateful for having another day on this earth. Grateful for all the people and things in your life.

Our thoughts are one of the few things truly within our control. Even if it is challenging to completely control what comes to mind, we can certainly learn to control the thoughts that stay in our minds, the thoughts we focus on, dwell on. Thoughts create world paradigms, impact our energies, and drive our actions. Even if you had a bit of Eeyore in you in the past, the past need not be the future and your tendency does not have to be your destiny. Even if a negative thing is true, does it serve you to focus on it? Even if a negative thing is true, odds are there are many positive things that also are true or could become true about a person or situation and your thoughts and energies may better serve you focused on the solution rather than the problem.

The key to becoming a Tigger

The principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy talk about Behavioural Actualisation – i.e. stop sitting around moping and get moving – take action and do stuff to pull yourself OUT of the abyss of gloom. Once you sink into the abyss of doom, it’s hard to get out.

As this youtube video from The NeverEnding Story, once you get stuck in the abyss, it could be deadly…

http://youtu.be/y688upqmRXo

The Naked Divorce is a great programme for getting over a divorce and pulling yourself out of that doom and gloom.

  • It has a structure with a defined beginning, middle and end
  • You focus on the end goal
  • You have a programme to follow and starting taking actions towards changing your behaviour today
  • You have all the support you need

So, it’s up to you. No need to be an Eeyore in the situation you find yourself in. I will paraphrase a line from Morgan Freeman’s character Red in the Shawshank Redemption “Get busy healing, or get busy dying”

Till next time!

Lots of hugs